The question most of us have in our free time isn’t whether or not to stream something, it’s, “What should I watch on Netflix?” Here are a few quick ways to find movies and TV shows on Netflix.
The Netflix app is constantly tweaking its interface to tell you to watch certain shows and movies. But when you browse Netflix shows and movies, it seems to push its own productions too strongly while ignoring more worthy options. Third-party recommendation engines, like those in this list, can be better at finding something more suited to your palate.
1. What The Hell Should I Watch On Netflix (Web): One Pick At a Time
If you don’t want to spend time tweaking a bunch of filters to find exactly what you’d like, this is the simple option. What The Hell Should I Watch On Netflix (WTHSIWON) focuses on speed and simplicity, giving you one pick at a time.
First, choose whether you want movies, TV shows, or anything at random. In the second step, choose the genre. You’ll immediately get a recommendation, complete with a trailer and a recommendation.
If it’s not what you’re looking for, WTHSIWON offers a few other options at the end of the recommendation, each with an alternative to something you might have found off-putting about the main choice. The site is quick and clutter free. We found that the recommendations are often well-rated on other movie rankings.
The database is a little out-of-date now as it doesn’t have many new movies and shows, but the pre-2017 recommendations are still great. And even though WTHSIWON doesn’t update their own database, we cross-checked to ensure these movies and TV shows are still available on Netflix USA.
2. FlixWatch (Web): “Best of Netflix” Lists, By Region
Maybe you don’t want one recommendation at a time like What The Hell Should I Watch on Netflix gives. FlixWatch has readymade lists for different categories so you can choose your favorite, all sorted by the country you’re in.
Each country’s sub-section lists the 50 best movies or TV shows across genres like crime, action, comedy, family, drama, documentaries, and so on. These lists have the movie’s or show’s title, a brief description, and the cast and crew details.
You can click “More Info” to find out things like the IMDb and Metacritic rankings. I think it’s better to skip directly to the “Watch On Netflix” link which has better details, including trailers. Either way, it’s a great way to find movies on Netflix.
3. Compare Movies (Web): Compare Movies and TV Shows
Your friends recommend some Netflix shows for your free time, but you need to decide what to watch next. Put them all in Compare Movies to see their major details next to each other, to make it easier to find movies and shows on Netflix.
Each movie or show appears as a long vertical column, and you can add as many other columns next to it as you like. The entire comparison can be shared as a link with anyone. So you can even decide together on what to stream next on Netflix with Compare Movies.
Details include things like what awards the movie has won, how many seasons a show has, the major cast and crew, and its IMDb and TMDb ratings. Quick links for videos and images will take you to YouTube playlists of trailers or best moments. It’s a lot of stuff you can’t find for a Netflix movie on the app.
4. Dinggo (Android, iOS): Swipe Like Tinder to Find Movies and Shows on Netflix
Much like finding dates on Tinder, you can find movies on Netflix by swiping left and right with Dinggo. The best way to use it is by creating an account, but you can try the app with a guest login first.
Dinggo asks you to select genres and sub-genres when you start. It’s a good idea to do this meticulously because otherwise, it will throw so many random and unwanted choices at you that you’ll be put off from using it. Once you start, it’s simple: swipe left to reject, swipe right to like. Swipe down to find more information about any movie or show, such as the description and ratings.
All your likes are collected for later. In our tests, the app didn’t really learn to recommend better choices based on our likes. But nonetheless, it’s a great way to browse shows on Netflix by selecting a specific genre and sub-genre, which the app lacks.
The app also recommends movies from Hulu and Amazon Prime. Currently, it has the US catalog for all three streaming services. But remember, many of the Netflix movies on the app are available worldwide, especially the originals.
5. Netflix-Codes (Web): Easily Browse Secret Netflix Categories
Netflix’s worst-kept secret is that it has a large number of hidden categories. Yes, the Netflix movies on the app have better classification and tags which are never shown to you, the user. These secret Netflix codes help find new content , but it has always been a pain to input and browse them. Until Netflix Codes came along.
This site is the most eye-pleasing and organized way to check all the secret categories on Netflix. You get larger categories (for example: action and adventure, thriller, documentaries, comedies, etc.) as well as sub-categories in each (for example: martial arts movies, LGBT dramas, deep sea horror movies, military documentaries, etc.). The link is available right next to it, which you can click and browse in Netflix.
You’ll be surprised by just how much better this is to browse Netflix shows and movies than through the official app or web interface. Netflix Codes is a game-changer to find movies on Netflix that you’ll like.
Recalibrate Your Netflix Recommendations
All of these alternatives wouldn’t be needed to find movies on Netflix if its recommendations worked well. Nonetheless, Netflix has a strong algorithm that figures out your tastes in movies and TV shows, based on what you watch and your ratings. But over time, this can go out of whack.
When you have some free time, it would be worth your while to recalibrate your Netflix recommendations, so that they are more helpful. Till then, you can stick to the above apps and sites to quickly find something worth watching.
Of course, you need a paid subscription and can’t watch Netflix shows for free. If you don’t want to pay, try another streaming service, like the free TV shows you can watch on Crackle .